Many patients may lose a tooth or teeth over the course of their lifetime. Unfortunately, this can often create a myriad of problems.
Sometimes, the adjacent teeth can shift, making them more difficult to properly clean and affecting the ability to chew properly. There are often aesthetic and confidence concerns as well, as many patients missing a tooth will often cover their mouth when smiling or avoid smiling altogether.
For patients who wish to improve the appearance of their smile after losing one or multiple teeth, a porcelain bridge may be the answer. Porcelain bridges can address any esthetic concerns you may have, while also providing the durability and longevity that you desire!
What are Porcelain Bridges?
Porcelain bridges are restorations that are often used to replace missing teeth that have left a gap in the mouth. A bridge is made by crowning the teeth on either side of the space, with a false tooth or teeth contained between them. This single unit is then permanently bonded to the supporting teeth. Porcelain bridges can be sculpted and shaped to mimic the look of natural teeth, while comfortably providing long-lasting support. In general, porcelain bridges can:
- Fill in a gap left by a missing tooth
- Help prevent teeth from shifting
- Help support the facial tissues
- Help restore the ability to speak and chew normally
Two appointments are usually necessary to create a porcelain bridge. During your first visit, the supporting teeth will be prepared for crowns by removing a small amount of enamel (1 to 2 millimeters, generally). An impression of the teeth (and the space between them) will then be taken and sent to our lab for a custom-made restoration that is created to fit your teeth. While you wait, temporary crowns are made for your teeth, in the comfort of our office.
During a second visit, your temporary crowns will be removed, and your custom porcelain bridge will be placed and examined for any problems. A digital x-ray will be taken to ensure correct fit, and any adjustments will be made to ensure your comfort. Once the bridge fits properly and any appropriate adjustments have been made, it will then be cemented into place.
Caring for Your Porcelain Bridge
It is vital that patients practice proper dental care following the placement of their porcelain bridge. If these crowns are neglected, decay (cavities) can occur, often causing the bridge to become loose. Patients should practice brushing twice a day, as well as flossing both around and beneath the bridge, to ensure a healthy smile. We’ll provide special brushes and floss that are used specifically for this purpose.
If you are interested in a porcelain bridge, contact us to schedule a consultation appointment!